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HOME PATENT MEDICINES AND ANALGESICS: ALCOHOL OTHER DRUGS AND WOMEN AND DRUGS COMING OFF DRUGS: HOW FAMILY AND FRIENDS CAN INTERVENE COMING OFF DRUGS: TELL-TALE SIGNS OF ... COMING OFF DRUGS: HOW THE FAMILY REACTS-SUSANNA'S STORY TRYING TO CONTROL THE ADDICT USING...
 

COMING OFF DRUGS: HOW THE FAMILY REACTS-SUSANNA'S STORY

Susanna is a well-dressed woman in her forties who works in an auctioneering firm. She separated from her husband some years ago, and has two boys. The first sign that something was wrong came when her younger son, Ian, then eighteen years old and at a public school, got into trouble for smoking cannabis.

That summer, Ian left school and went to a summer course in France. When he came back, Susanna began to realise that something was wrong. Somehow Ian's attitude was different. He was aggressive, difficult to live with, and dirty.

‘I was frantically worried from then on,' recalls Susanna. 'I asked advice from a friend who had run an addiction unit. Ian went to see him and conned him into believing it was only pot. The friend said that what Ian needed was a more exciting life!'

When Ian caught hepatitis, Susanna began to realise that her son was on heroin. 'What had crept up was the stealing. I would think "I'm sure I had a fiver in my purse. Oh well, perhaps I didn't." '

She took him to a doctor for his hepatitis, then took him home to convalesce. And when Ian ran away from home, she chased him round various squats. T used to put notes through the door saying "I'm always here if you need me. Mummy loves you." '

Susanna asked various doctors for help. They told her that Ian would have to go to a

drug-dependence unit. She went to her GP, who simply said: 'You must persuade him to have treatment in the unit at the local hospital.'

'But there was no way I could persuade him. He came back for two days, then left home again. I followed him surreptitiously in a taxi to see where he was going and wrote down the address.'

The next thing that happened was that Ian was had up in court for fraud. He'd forged a signature on a cheque. Susanna hired a solicitor for him, and he got off with a £500 fine. She paid it because 'it seemed better than prison.'

Ian then promised her he would stop using drugs. He got a job and started living at home again. T thought that maybe living at home with a good evening meal and going to bed early would work the miracle. I had it all mapped out for him, that I would find him a flat with some nice people in it.'

It didn't last. Three weeks later, Ian went back to using drugs. All Susanna's efforts had been useless.

*28\116\2*

 
 
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Effexor

Prozac

Zyban

 

 

 

 

WHAT MAKES AN ADDICT DECIDE TO STOP?

Let's pause here and consider why addicts decide to stop using drugs and get well. Such a decision isn't an easy one for them. Addicts fear withdrawal and they cannot conceive of a life without drugs. So why do they stop taking drugs?

STOP HELPING THE ADDICT STAY ILL...

LET THE ADDICT SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES...

INTERVENING TO MAKE THE ADDICT SEEK HELP...

LETTING THE ADDICT KNOW HOW YOU FEEL...